Tag Archives: new brunswick

Trout lily green seed pods

10 Jun

Nibbled these green seed pods a few times over the years. Trout lily (Erythronium americanum) covers large areas of mature beech, maple hardwood forest here in the Martime provinces of Canada.

Most parts of the Erythronium americanum plant are listed as edible with the plant’s tiny bulbs considered by many to be the best for eating. The leaves and flowers are also edible though this plant comes with a warning that it can be emetic if eaten in large quantities. I find Trout lily beautiful while in flower, but today I notice it is also quite captivating while in this green seed pod stage.

My search for info on the historical use of Erythronium americanum’s green seed pods has come up empty, though I also looked for other members of Erythronium which has several in NA and Asia and it appear one out in Western Canada Erythronium grandiflorum known as the Avalanche lily has some record of food usage of the green seed pods. This was encouraging news as these pods seem like a nice way to harvest without too much negative impact on these plants.

Another photo of these beauties in a pleasant woods, very soon in this location there will be little trace of this plant as it is well known as a spring ephemeral. As for the green seed pods edibility I did consult the most knowledgeable wild food expert I know of and they agreed this is most likely  a safe part of this plant to consume in small amounts.

Here we see an ant’s eye view of a seedpod towering above. Although the main way trout lily spread in a forest is by runners, ants do help also when the seed pods breakdown on the ground surface, ants then have a tasty nutritious meal attached to the seed and with a natural appreciation plant some seeds during their picnic.

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Canadian Wood Nettle

3 Jun

Out on the flood plain gathering some Laportea canadensis (Canadian wood nettle) as you can see in the basket with these scattered plants of wood nettles, are some tiny sprouting jewelweed and a few beginning strings of groundnuts and then your eyes will reach the green line of no longer fiddlehead stage ostrich ferns. Lots of energetic plants a glow here today.

Closer look at Canadian wood nettle.

Back at home and in the pot are the young solid stems of the wood nettles which are a healthy & tasty food. I should mention at this time you can actually snap the tender stems of (YOUNG) Canadian wood nettle with your bare hands without receiving any nasty stings but quite soon that will all change so beware if you’re out there.The wood nettle leaves I gathered were boiled separately and after dried and powder and will later be used as flour or added to soups, smoothies, etc

Clintonia borealis

12 May

Clintonia borealis has the common name of Bluebead lily, take a moment to look at these striking plant standing above and also if you zoom closer you can see some smaller plants poking through the snow with narrow green points. This wild plant’s leaves taste similar to cucumber when fresh, I’m not fond of this plant cooked as a pot herb though.

Bluebead lily can be a very common plant in some eastern forest. I collected a tiny fraction of what was in this area with the thought of finding some new uses for these spring shoots besides cutting the fresh leaves up in salads, so time to go home for some culinary adventuring.🦉

Fall is forest fungi time

8 Oct

Quick post on a few of the most interesting (to me) wild mushrooms I gathered today in my neck of woods near Moncton NB. Busy foraging these days so not much identification details to pass along, I’m basically just showing off my good fortune by laying these natural wonders out for you to see in a timely fashion with their names listed below. You will need to enlarge to get a slightly better look at the individual mushrooms in this not so great photo. The wild mushrooms available in the Fall can vary greatly from day to day so next week could feature 12 different quality edible mushrooms quite easily. Enjoy your Fall foraging but be careful out there, a lot of larger creatures are on the move and some of them have arms 🙂

1 o’clock – Catathelasma imperiale

2 o’clock – Catathelasma ventricosum

3 o’clock – Ramaria rubripermanens

4 o’clock – Clitopilus prunulus

5 o’clock – Tricholoma dulciolens

6 o’clock – Hedgehog mushroom

7 o’clock – Entoloma abortivum

8 o’clock – Honey mushroom

9 o’clock – Hericium americanum

10 o’clock – Lobster mushroom

11 o’clock – Suillus glandulosus

12 o’clock – Hypsizygus tessulatus

If you like you may take a wild guess on the identity of some of the small wild mushrooms in the center of the clock. ciao

Tragopogon, Grass Rooting

20 Nov

During July I seen a large area of Tragopogon pratensis which seemed suitable for gathering this plant if I can recall the location for next spring, this post should help:) Often this plant grows very well along roads and railways, the type of places you (do not) want to gather food from. Occasionally T prantensis will also grow in grassy areas along brooks & rivers which can provide for some safe gatherings depending on what is upstream. So since I’m right here right now actually searching for another plant of course lets see if I can find some T pratensis plants amongst the grasses.

If you look at the green plant leaves to the left of the center of the photo you will see the most dominant plant here which is a grass I can’t identify and to the right of center is a Tragopogon with very similar looking leaves though they are more numerous and you can circle them with your hand and follow them back to root.

Usually my main edible interest in this plant are the early spring growth of stems and leaves, today well into November with the temperature near 0 C the greens are less appealing to me so I think it will be time to dig a little deeper and see what the late fall roots look like. The more numerous and larger leaves should point to the largest roots.

These roots were a lot easier to remove from the soil than I expected. Many of these roots the size of a medium carrot. The leaves still are edible and nutritious but are most tender towards the root.

These are one of the better tasting wild roots, as good as most garden vegetables. Like Jerusalem Artichoke and Burdock, Tragopogon pratensis is a member of the Asteraceae family and it also contains inulin in its roots so many may get windy after a good feed of them. Tragopogon pratensis roots boiled for 5 to 7 minutes are very tender, I added butter and a little lemon juice, salt and pepper, very good.

Fall Foraging and Photos

13 Nov

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November in New Brunswick Canada can present you with some interesting wild food opportunities. Recently I revisited this field I gathered a variety of wild greens in during June and returned here for tubers and the hope of maybe some winter annual greens. In the photo’s bottom left corner we see a wild radish plant and the rest of the photo features mostly the brown remains of the mint family member Stachys palustris with a few straight beggars tick stems which I attempted to slalom around to avoid getting coated in seeds.

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Here we see what was just under the soil below the old Stachys palustris plants. Some fine tubers you can eat fresh or cooked or dried and powdered into flour.

 

Of the greens available it was by far the wild radish stealing the show.

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Most the new fall growth were on old mature blown down stems from summer. These greens were in suitable shape for cooking and drying with even a few plants with new pods and flower buds. Good chance if a warm spell appears in Dec there will be plenty of other mustard family members available for Maritime foragers to gather:)

Jack Pine Mushrooms

9 Oct

Here is a new edible for me, these Hawk wing mushroom are easy to ID to Sarcodon but a little tricky to nail down all the way. These in the above photo appear to be Sarcodon squamosus due to their large size with some caps in the surroundings being 20 to 25 cm across, also they were not bitter tasting and grew in Jack Pine, all factors to help with identification. These mushrooms tend to get mixed reviews as edibles so leave this one off your list unless you are very experienced with edible wild mushrooms. In the jack pine forest visually Hawk wing mushrooms are a very pleasant find.

Now these above Lyophyllum mushrooms are very interesting to me also and may actually be Lyophyllum shimeji which is a prized edible in Japan. Lyophyllum shimeji has been found in northern Europe and recently NFLD so this maybe more than just wishful thinking on my behalf as the sandy acid soil with plenty of lichen under jack pine trees fits the bill for Lyophyllum shimeji. It has been a very dry year for Moncton area mushrooms but even this type of year can produce some nice surprises.

Chokecherries

18 Aug

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Trying a few new food things with chokecherries which I’ll probably post on down the road. Here is a phone photo trailer for you which seems to nicely capture a forager’s view of this abundant wild Maritime fruit. Ciao

 

 

 

 

Amelanchier berries

5 Aug

 

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Adding this photo to my wild fruit page and should also say a few words as this is one of our most spectacular wild fruits when ripening. Sometimes there can be numerous trees with plenty of these white, red and purplish blue berries which are very showy. These Amelanchier berries are also quite tasty especially when cooked in pies, scones and muffins.

We have around 20 different varieties of Amelanchiers here, one with a miniature American football shape which I enjoy seeing and eating. Amelanchiers vary in size from a foot high plant to 25 foot trees. Amelanchier berries are not commonly gathered in the Maritimes though in the Prairie Provinces it is an old favorite which goes by the name of Saskatoon berries. Hope you folks get a chance to see this member of the rose family one day in all its glory in a moist thicket, you’ll be pleased.

Leccinum piceinum

20 Jul

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Here are some photos from a few weeks ago when I gathered a bunch of Leccinum piceinum for drying. The safety in eating orange and red capped Leccinum has been in question for the last decade as a number of folks in NA have suffered GI distress after eating these mushroom fresh and possibly under-cooked but maybe well cooked as well? Supposedly no one has had any issues with the dried mushrooms which can be used in soups or cooked after rehydration. I suspect drying is the way to go if you have any interest in eating red or orange capped Leccinum mushrooms which are usually difficult to identify to specific name.

These mushrooms are real standouts in mossy spruce forest anywhere from late June till November when conditions are right in the Maritimes.

A look under the cap at the pore layer and loose tissue along the edge of the cap.

This is probably the easiest red/orange Leccinum to ID due to it growing in mossy spruce areas with no birch or poplar trees to complicate matters as there are several types of Leccinums growing under those hardwood trees.

Last look at quite a photogenic Maritime mushroom. ciao